the life you want is worth waiting for…

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You ready for a random post that will probably tell you more about me than I’d normally be willing to share?

Life has taught me a great deal lately. And I can’t say I wanted to learn all of it, seeing that most of the learning wasn’t about life in general, but about myself. 

Sometimes, I get lost in the realization that we don’t know ourselves as well as we probably should. I mean it, when was the last time you stopped and allowed yourself to get to know yourself. Sounds strange (and silly) right? Like:

“Hi self, your name is Kylie, which you obviously already knew. And you are currently presenting as crazy as you sit here and talk to yourself, about yourself, because you don’t really know yourself…”

Take a minute and think, if your insides could talk, what would they want you to know? Who would do most of the talking? Your head? Your heart? Your muscles? Or maybe your bones. Would they tell you to slow down, to hurry up, to relax, to reflect, to learn, or maybe they would just tell you to enjoy the moment.

I bet we could have a great conversation with ourselves if we really wanted to.

That being said, let me explain how this crazy thought came to light.

The biggest thing I’ve come to realize since my move to Seattle is that when you claim you’re going to “Start over” you should be ready for exactly that. 

Here’s the best way I can explain it: Starting over is a lot like a chalkboard. 

Confused yet? Be patient, and take the example of a chalkboard. You’re standing there wanting to create a new design, so you erase the chalk that was there. But let’s be honest, there’s always some chalk particles left (even cleaning the chalkboard with water leaves weird streak marks behind). So, when you go to draw your new design, it’s like the old chalk marks are the base for your new design right?

So, you have your childhood, previous jobs and relationships, all of which have helped you develop into who you are today. Right? Right. Well, starting over, you leave all that behind in hopes of making new memories. In my case, I started over because I wasn’t satisfied, something was missing. I thought I’d be able to take everything I’ve learned in life, and easily apply it to the life I’m trying to build. Boy was I wrong about that being easy.

Once I moved here I had to relearn everything about myself. I mean it, and it was hard. It was kinda like looking in the mirror and not recognizing the person who was standing there. And I’m being 100% honest about this. According to a close friend who visited recently, I look different, present myself different, I walk different, I’m happy, capable, and wanting to do things differently than I used to. Being told these things was strange. And taking a step back, I can’t disagree.

After thinking about her observation, I personally realized the following:

  • I don’t write nearly as often as I used to.
  • I don’t have the urge to out a giant canvas and throw my emotions at it.
  • I don’t go out as often as I used to.
  • I get bored easily.
  • I’m not as hungry as I used to think I was (eating emotions sound familiar to anyone?)
  • I understand the difference between what I feel I need and what I actually need to survive.
  • I don’t need half the clothes I actually own.
  • I actually enjoy (and miss) working.
  • I flourish when around positive people.

To me, my list seems long and scary. Realizing these activities were more “coping skills” than fun activities, made me really reflect on life previous to my move. Now, I’m not saying that my life was bad, it wasn’t, it was beautiful and busy, but it wasn’t what I wanted.

Since my move, I’ve been able to isolate myself in a strange way to really center myself. I was able to really think about what I wanted out of every aspect of life. I thought a lot about who I wanted to be, what would make me happiest. I thought about the things that really bother me, and not just small annoyances, but things that get under my skin and interrupt my day. I’ve realized that my creative side was a lot of me just expressing my discomfort with life. And that’s not a bad thing. I now have some amazing pieces of work to look back at and say, “I survived that day.” And I’m so proud of that! But it has left me feeling naked and exposed. Like all the comforts I used to cling to are no longer useful. And with that, I need to find and utilize new things.

Sometimes, I still look in the mirror and wonder who are you? But, now I do it positively. Because I know, that I’ve taken a giant step in the right direction. Despite setback and challenges I’ve faced, I’ve never second-guessed the decision to move.

I’m thriving more than I ever had. It’s a crazy mind-f*ck (sorry for the language), but it is. My life is a damn chalkboard. I have memories and lessons learned, the things I can’t fully forget or erase, and I don’t want to. They’re the base for this new life I’m building, and it’s a strange phenomenon.

So what if I don’t really know who I am right now? What I do know, is that I’m finally on my way to becoming who I’ve always wanted to be. My core is happy, my head and heart are no longer fighting. My bones and muscles feel alive again. So wherever this journey may take me, it was worth waiting for.

Okay, so this post was all over the place. I guess you could say it’s slightly a reflection of me feeling like I’m existing outside of my body. But I wanted to share with you and with myself, because rediscovering yourself isn’t a bad thing. It can be such a beautiful thing. You just have to be open and willing to feel uncomfortable and accept the difficulties.

All that craziness to say, never give up on that dream you’ve always had. Because that the life you want, is most definitely worth waiting (and fighting) for!

 

With love from one person to another,

Kylie

 

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Ten Years Ago Today…

Ten years ago today I was sitting on a beach in San Diego, California with my cousin debating my existence. 

Ten years ago, I was struggling with my sexuality.  

I was lost and confused, trying to find some clarity; much of me believing I didn’t belong in this world. At the time, depression had boxed me in. I spent more time trying to navigate between right and wrong and how to exist without upsetting others than I did trying to let myself be me. 

Everyday was a battle against my demons: I had grown to believe that God hated me and therefore religion couldn’t possibly exist in my life. I believed my family was disappointed in me, and therefore I was unworthy of their love. And I felt my friends were unsure of me. All of which lead me to doubt myself and my choices. 

Unfortunately, despite the multitude of people in my life, I believed I was a disgrace to all of them. I knew I wanted to love, and couldn’t understand why that was so hard for people to understand. I spent most of my time apologizing for who I was, beating myself up for desiring someone of the same sex – I spent so much time doing it, I forgot how to live. 

2004, call it my personal blackout. I was so out of my mind depressed that I don’t remember much of that year. It’s painful to think about, to know that I felt that lost. 

Now, back to that sunny beach in San Diego. 

Call it fate, God remaining by my side, or just luck. Unsure of many details, I know that it had been some time since my mom and cousin had spoke, but in 2004 they did. The result of their conversation was me going to San Diego. 

Stereotypical lesbian moment, I listened to Tegan &Sara and T.A.T.U. on my CD player for the entire 6 hour flight. 

Stepping off the plane, I knew nothing of my cousins life for the last few years, and she knew nothing of mine. Two strangers, we greeted one another as if we had seen each other yesterday. (Now let me insert here, that growing up, her and I were inseparable. When I was a baby, she was the only one who could make me truly belly laugh. We had a special bond, and I felt comfort in knowing that). 

Anyway, she was busy with her life and I was confused and disoriented in mine. I spent everyday wondering the streets of San Diego and sitting on the beach. I remember eventually telling her about liking girls, I also remember waiting for her reaction to be judgement, only, it wasn’t. Instead, she looked at me and said “okay.” 

Looking back, I can only laugh at the expression that was probably on my face. I was so used to waiting for people to voice their opinion about how it’s “wrong” that her simple “okay” response and wanting to hear more about my first relationship with a girl, stunned me. Despite whatever may have been running through her mind, she let me speak, and while I spoke, she listened. I think it was then, that I began to come back to life. Began to realize that my life was just that – my life. 

My cousin and I didn’t spend too much time together, again, she had her life to attend to. But for the first time, I felt like I had my freedom back, I could do what I wanted, and didn’t feel like eyes were watching my every move. 

On February 16th, 2004, she took me to a beach. I remember her getting excited over finding a hammock someone had set up between two trees, she sat in it and I snapped a picture. We walked along the beach for a few, until the sun began to set. We sat ourselves in the sand and pulled out our journals. We chatted while we let ourselves express whatever we felt necessary in our journals. I didn’t write that day, instead I sketched a very simple outline of the view before me. 

I’m not sure why it was there or then, but it was there that my hope returned. Hope for life, for myself. Hope for better. 

2.16.04

2.16.04

I returned from my visit to California with a new sense of self. I still had those demons, still felt the judgement from others. But I also felt alive again, I felt strong and able. 

Now, let’s go back for a moment, don’t get me wrong, there were people in my life in 2004 who supported and loved me, people who had my back . But I was so unsure of myself and so depressed that I couldn’t see them. I only saw the hatred and judgement. So to my friends who were around in 2004, you know who you are – Thank You. Thank you with all my heart. To my family, I know we’ve had our moments of uncertainty; we’ve cried, yelled, argued, and debated, but through that, we loved. 

So, if you’re still reading this, thank YOU. As you know, we all face our own demons. And just as we’ve faced them, I’m sure many of us have also overcome them. If you’re facing something right now, know that you’re not alone and know that you have the strength to get through it.

 

It’s through God’s grace that I’m here today. 2004 was a difficult time of growing. A time of change. I can accept who I am now, and that doesn’t mean that times are all butterflies and rainbows, the difficult times are still there, but I’m okay with them. The pain reminds me that I’m alive.

I exist now in 2014 with my head held high. With a belief in God, with hope for this world, for myself, and for everyone else who may be struggling. I believe that every day we can make a difference by existing, by sharing our stories, by loving and supporting one another. 

We are all the same, this is our world, this is our time. Let’s cover it with what matters most: acceptance, kindness, support and love. 

To everyone STILL reading this, everyone who is or has been a part of my life, thank you for your kind heart, it means more than you will ever know.

Hugs & Hope, 

Kylie

 

Colossians 3:12

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Art is Everywhere!

Art: (n) the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

Art comes in many forms. It can be found in drawing, coloring, painting, the usual art mediums. But it can also be makeup artists, photographers, fashion designers, chefs, architects, hairdressers, authors, gardeners, IT professionals, singers, farmers, directors… I could go on and on. Basically, art is so much more than just “paint on canvas.”


We are surrounded by art. It’s everywhere!

Art is anything that allows us to express ourselves. It uses our senses, reality, hopes & dreams, frustrations, truths, weaknesses. A window into our unconscious. A way to voice ourselves when words just don’t do. An opportunity to let our emotions out whether it’s expressing happiness or fear. Sometimes art requires no thought, and is based on fun.

For me, art is freedom. It’s my escape; that secret place I can run to get away from the chaos of everyday life. Usually, I have no reason behind my art. Something random will spark the “artist” side of me and I’ll dive into a new project. It’s like my unconscious lets me know I need to escape and vent, but I’m completely unaware of this fact until I’m done. It’s then that the message behind my art speaks loudest.

I am passionate about art – about looking at it and making it. My ultimate favorite is painting, something about a blank canvas or wall with the freedom to use any mix of colors is so freeing.

a painting I made for a friend

Next I’d have to say is dying hair, any color, in any way… it’s just fun!

just highlighting my sisters hair blue (so fun!)

Then there’s drawing, making everyday things into “puzzles” that make sense to me.

a drawing I did to express keeping "depression locked away"

And then baking. 🙂

a bear cake & block made for a friends baby shower

I have a variety of art in my life and I love it! I lucked out too, my family is pretty artistic as well! Mom does it all, painting, sewing, photography, stamps… you name it, she’s good at it! Dad is a mechanic and good at carpentry… any trade really.  Then there’s my sisters, they are game design majors with minors in creative writing and graphic design. And my grandparents excelled in sewing and woodworking… gosh, guess I’m blessed!

I’ve been surrounded by art my entire life, it’s always been a part of my everyday living. I can’t imagine my life without it!

Art.  It requires no reason, no purpose. It’s something we can get away with; it helps get things off our chest, even if what is produced doesn’t make sense to anyone but ourselves.

Whether we’re making art within our jobs or during our down time, whether it’s abstract or straightforward, the art we produce is a piece of ourselves. So take a moment today and express yourself, for no reason other than because you can!

Check out my deviantART: http://silent-songs25.deviantart.com/